Why when I try to look up the BVG Theorem, all I see are creation, catholic, and religious websites?
Most about WL Craig using it for support. Hmmm
Why cant I find any articles about whether this theorem is widely accepted by the scientific community?
Where is the peer review?
Anyway, the authors themselves say that their theorem does not say the universe had to have a beginning.
The 2003 Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper (pdf) shows that “almost all” inflationary models of the universe (as opposed to Dr. Craig’s “any universe”) will reach a boundary in the past – meaning our universe probably doesn’t exist infinitely into the past.
Which doesnt negate the possibility that the universe began to exist out of nothing, and is infinite in size as the Flat model shows. Euclidean space is flat and infinite, and a flat universe can have zero total energy and thus can come from nothing.
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has confirmed that the universe is flat with only a 0.5% margin of error. Within the Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) model, the presently most popular shape of the Universe found to fit observational data according to cosmologists is the infinite flat model. This, to me, looks like it is the most accepted view of the universe, and as a flat universe, it can be infinite and come from nothing. It doesnt have to exist infinitely in the past...it can be infinite in size and come from nothing.
The idea of universe causing itself to come into existence from nothing (as in literally nothing, not simply empty space, etc) is an idea that is more ludicrous than magic.
Dr. Craig seems to interpret this information as “the universe definitely began to exist” although that is a bit presumptuous. For example, this theorem doesn’t rule out Stephen Hawking’s no-boundary proposal which states that time may be finite without any real boundary (just like a sphere is finite in surface area while it has no “beginning”).
Again, from one of my previous posts: "what makes the Bode-Guth-Vilenkin theorem so powerful is that it holds regardless of the physical description of the very early universe."
Furthermore, the author of the Arizona Atheist blog asked Vilenkin if his theorem with Guth and Borde proves that the universe had a beginning, and Vilenkin responded:
"f someone asks me whether or not the theorem I proved with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is “yes”. If you are willing to get into subtleties, then the answer is “No, but…” So, there are ways to get around having a beginning, but then you are forced to have something nearly as special as a beginning
I personally would like to know about the subtleties. Perhaps he is speaking of the fact that they do not know what happened pre big-bang...and even says that in order to know that, one must be ready to tackle tough paradoxes. Regardless, the author himself is saying the universe did NOT have to have a beginning.
I addressed this in a previous post. The complete quote goes as follows:
"[The only way] you can avoid the conclusion of the BGV theorem is by postulating that the universe was contracting prior to some time. This sounds as if there is nothing wrong with having a contraction prior to expansion. But the problem is that a contracting universe is highly unstable; small perturbations would cause it to develop all sorts of messy singularities so that it would never make it to the expanding phase. So if someone asks me whether or not the theorem I prove with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is 'yes'. If you are willing to get into subtleties, then the answer is 'no,' but that is to say that you have the problem with the messy singularities that prevent re-expansion."
Nothing in the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper suggests a beginning from “absolute nothingness” (as Craig often claims). In fact, the opposite is true. The authors write,
"What can lie beyond the boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event."
This “quantum nucleation event” refers to a paper Vilenkin wrote in 1982 (pdf) which discusses the universe coming into being through quantum mechanics. Interestingly, many theists use Vilenkin’s paper as evidence that the universe came from “literally nothing” but Craig has already criticized this work.
This, too, has been addressed:
"What can lie beyond this boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary
of the inﬂating region corresponds to the beginning of
the Universe in a quantum nucleation event . The
boundary is then a closed spacelike hypersurface which
can be determined from the appropriate instanton.
Whatever the possibilities for the boundary, it is clear
that unless the averaged expansion condition can somehow be avoided for all past-directed geodesics, inﬂation
alone is not suﬃcient to provide a complete description of
the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order
to determine the correct conditions at the boundary"
The average expansion condition cannot,
in fact, be avoided.
I can understand why someone would latch on to this as it appears that it is proof that the universe has a beginning. However, this is just another educated guess like so many others, yet with still so much information not yet available to us.
Alan Guth States:
"Hard as physicists have tried to find some kind of an inflationary-model universe that does not have a beginning, still, every single cosmological model based on an inflationary hypothesis has to have a beginning."
Alan Guth states of possible preceding universes or multiverses:
"With reasonable assumption, one can show that, even in the context of inflation with many 'bubbles' forming, there would still be, somewhere, an absolute beginning."
And, conclusively, Vilenkin states:
"It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning".
I just cant seem to find any articles on wether this theorem is accepted anywhere outside people and/or organizations that are trying to prove the existence of god.
It should be of no surprise that the BVG Theorem is mostly mentioned exclusively on theistic websites; atheists would much rather turn a blind eye to this sort of information.